Battlefield 2042 is a huge war game that shines best when it retreads the past

The best thing about the new Battlefield game is its portal to all the franchise’s older modes and levels.

And therein lies the biggest problem with the blockbuster shooter.

The seven new mega maps of 2042 are impressive and sprawling, but they don’t quite live up to the best the Battlefield series has offered in the past.

Instead its left to the impressive portal mode, where you can tweak previous titles in huge detail to create your own multiplayer modes and then share them across the gaming community.

Developed by Ripple Effect Studios, Battlefield Portal is an evolutionary experience that allows players to not only control the rules of war but also enjoy classic maps and other fan-made levels.

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It features a robust creation suite that includes core settings, custom modes and a Logic Editor for players to create, share and discover the Battlefield experience of their wildest imaginations, filled with a familiar offering of weapons, vehicles and equipment.

The Battlefield Builder tool encourages creativity and experimentation, all while allowing players to tweak and set the rules for their own definitive from Battlefield 2042 – along with the iconic maps and hardware from Battlefield 1942, Battlefield Bad Company 2 and Battlefield 3.

It’s easy to use and immense fun.

And getting to delve into old games from years back brought back a huge rush of nostalgic enjoyment.

The new levels on offer in 2042 are truly huge. We’re talking 128 player mini wars across vast areas of space.

It’s too big to be honest.

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With so many gamers in one match you’ll often find yourself running into the action for several minutes only to be picked off out of nowhere by one of the many, many rivals.

It’s frustrating because too often you’re either striving to get into the thick of the fight or not given enough time to assess the battlefield before some random joe takes you out with a headshot.

The gunplay itself is strong, fast and frantic and the near-future weaponry diverse enough to warrant continued play for unlocking new items.

Gone are the four distinct operator modes of the past and in come a mishmash of different player skins to take control over.

But as they can all have repair, medic or assault style loadouts, the uniqueness of past Battlefield operators and your defined role within a squad of four is diminished as a result.

There’s no single-player game here, likely partly a result of pandemic limitations, which is a shame because the near-future setting and vague backstory of a world fallen apart as non-patriated fighters struggle for survival sounds like a great tale to tell.

Perhaps one that can be fleshed out in a sequel.

So you’re down to mass multiplayer mayhem only in 2042 and, if you compare that to the triple-threat of the latest Call of Duty’s campaign, multiplayer and zombies mode, it isn’t quite as diverse.

This game looks amazing, the Dice graphics engine really shines on the PS5 and Xbox Series X, and the audio is cracking, the weaponry sounds awesome and when it’s full scale bonkers there is a real war vibe.

Overall, a decent shooter that feels a little too overblown for its own good.

It’s best elements lie in the past but there’s plenty here to get your teeth into and potentially dozens of hours of multiplayer fun for the winter months.

VERDICT 3.5/5

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